The Internet now serves as the main gateway to, and for, most businesses around the world. A small business’s website provides easy access to information that proved difficult to come by previously.

Now, with essentially every business managing a website online, the importance of ranking ahead of your competition on Google cannot be understated.

Google accounts for more Internet search traffic than all other search engines combined, so improving a Google search rank has the potential of increasing web traffic several hundred times over.

The practice of making a website more attractive to Google and other search engines is known as search engine optimization (SEO).

While it is important to experiment to see what works and what doesn't, there are a few basic steps available for boosting a website up the rankings ladder. 

Content is King

While there are other steps that will be covered, it is important for any website admin to create content that proves helpful and insightful.

Quality content has a way of reaching the top ranking in Google. Gone are the days a website host could simply type out a single keyword a thousand times on the bottom of the page to boost results.

Better content equals more views, which helps equate to a higher ranking. 

Learn all about why content is king on our recent post, “Why Your Website is Nothing Without High Quality Content.”

Keywords Keywords Keywords

Now, with that being said, the keywords do still play a vital role. Keywords become ‘queries’  when typed into a search engine to find something.

So, it is important for a website manager to think like their target demographic in order to determine the best keywords to use.

Free: Step-by-Step Guide to Driving Traffic to Your Website

Longtail keywords are best. This means a string of keywords instead of one or two.

An antique toy car manufacturer needs to use the words "antique toy cars" throughout the context naturally (this means without forcing it in simply to plug more keywords as Google can identify keyword stuffing now and penalize a website for it).

This way, it is easier to connect with customers looking for this kind of product. Individual keywords like "Car" or "toy" alone are not going to help at all as there are hundreds of millions of other websites out there with these keywords. 

See the chart below to understand why longtail keywords are the key to small businesses competing in search online:

long tail keywords

Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are links on other websites that lead a visitor (and the search engines) back to your website.

However, it can't be just any backlink. Some website managers place backlinks on their social media pages and then are disappointed when their rank doesn't improve.

While it is important to associate social media accounts with the website, these are not counted towards backlink numbers. Only backlinks on other websites and blogs can help, so having popular blogs and websites link to the site can pay dividends in boosting the SEO of any website. 

Learn more about backlinks by reading our recent post, “No Inbound Links? No Problem.

Getting ahead of the competition online starts with knowing exactly where you stand in the SEO world today.  

I suggest running our free Website Analyzer below to learn what you can improve with your website.  

Then, give us a call. We have affordable, small business friendly website and SEO services that have helped over 1,100 local companies compete and grow online.